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AAI counters AAIB’s report on lapse of ATCO’s ratings

AAI has countered the report and said the lapses mentioned in the AAIB report may pertain to the multiple procedural ratings of the controllers.
NEW DELHI: Safety procedures were ignored at the Delhi airport, as the ratings of controllers at the Delhi airport were found to have lapsed, a report by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has said. The report findings have been countered by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which provides air traffic services in the country, saying that there were no lapse in ratings.

The report is part of an inquiry committee set up by the civil aviation ministry to probe a near-miss between an IndiGo and a KLM aircraft on November 2, 2017, that has blamed air traffic control for the same.

A committee of inquiry comprising AAIB officials was set up to examine this near miss. Listing “probable cause” of this near miss, the report said: “Assigning wrong/same level to IndiGo-977 by overlooking the overflying traffic (of KLM 811at flight level 35,000 feet)… failure to detect the assignment of conflicting level to departing aircraft IndiGo-977…. Inadequate surveillance by (controllers)… Inaction … on ATM (air traffic management) system generated alerts, predicted conflict warning (PCW)…. controller failed to react to PCW for approximate 82 seconds and reacted … by continuous wrong use of call signs.”

The report also said that some controllers had lost the ratings for manning the stations they were on. “Necessary steps be taken for revalidation of tower ratings of 101radar controllers and AAI shall take measures to prevent such lapses at mass level in future…. it is pertinent that in interest of safety, number of ATC ratings may be reduced so that a radar controller can mandatorily perform ATC duties in all the units every month,” the report recommended.

AAI has countered the report and said the lapses mentioned in the AAIB report may pertain to the multiple procedural ratings of the controllers.

“The report of AAIB concerns regarding the lapses in ratings prior to the implementation of two stream ratings, which was implemented w.e.f. October 2017. Prior to October 2017, the ATCOs were holding multiple ratings (as much as ratings for 8 different ATS units) for which recency requirements as per provisions of ICAO Annex 1 may not have been met due to operational constraints, shortage, accessibility, etc,” said an email response from AAI.

“However, there was no lapse in ratings in the surveillance units. Subsequent to the introduction of two stream ratings and ATCO Log Register (ALR) in phase 1, the currency requirement for ATC ratings applicable for the air traffic controllers posted at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata ATC centres are being met,” the response further said.
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